BOSTON (AP) - The Boston Red Sox helped raise more than $200,000 for victims of flooding in the Dominican Republic, the homeland of stars Pedro
Martinez, Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz.
Red Sox owner John Henry personally pledged $100,000 for the island, which was ravaged by flooding last month. As many as 2,000 people were killed and
thousands more left homeless.
"I come from there. I know exactly how things are," Martinez said at a news conference on Monday. "Believe me, it's not pretty."
After receiving word of the disaster, Ortiz put a box in the Red Sox clubhouse to take up a collection among his teammates. The team also invited fans
to contribute during a homestand and through the mail.
Contributions from fans between May 31 and June 14 totaled more than $31,000. Red Sox players matched that, and the Red Sox Foundation did the same.
Some of the money will go toward relief efforts in Haiti, which shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic.
Corporate donations brought the figure over $100,000, plus 1,200 T-shirts and 1,000 pairs of shorts, and Henry added $100,000 of his own.
Martinez thanked the fans "for giving us the support, not only in baseball but as human beings."
The Red Sox are among several major league teams that have opened baseball academies in the Dominican, birthplace of many of the sport's greats.
"What we'd like to do is let the people of the Dominican know that it's not just baseball that we're concerned about," Henry said.
The announcement was made on the field at Fenway Park during a game between Red Sox fantasy campers. In a switch, the campers wore replica Red Sox
uniforms and Martinez and Ortiz were in street clothes. Red Sox chairman Tom Werner and president Larry Lucchino also attended.